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Video Game / Earth and Sky

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Earth and Sky is a trilogy of Interactive Fiction games about a brother and sister, Austin and Emily Colborn, searching for their missing scientist parents with the assistance of superpower-granting suits their parents created just before they disappeared. The earthsuit gives Austin super-strength, damage resistance, and the ability to leap great distances; the skysuit gives Emily the power of flight and the ability to generate fog and lightning.

In part one, "Earth and Sky", Emily and Austin discover the suits, which come in handy when one of their parents' colleagues unwittingly unleashes a prehistoric menace. Emily is the player character.

In part two, "Another Earth, Another Sky", Emily and Austin follow a new lead to their parents' disappearance, and discover a portal leading to another world. Austin is the player character.

In part three, "Luminous Horizon", Emily and Austin enter the Big Bad's hidden lair to rescue their parents. This episode is a Teamwork Puzzle Game in which the player can switch at will between Emily and Austin.

"Another Earth, Another Sky" and "Luminous Horizon" won 1st Prize in their respective years at the Interactive Fiction Competition; the original "Earth and Sky" placed in the top ten in its year, but not high enough to win a prize. "Another Earth, Another Sky" won Best Use of Medium in the 2002 Xyzzy Awards.

This series provides examples of:

  • Elemental Powers: Austin and Emily have earth and air-themed powers and the final chapter of the series reveals that their parents have fire and water powers from the same source, making them as a family a Classical Elements Ensemble.
  • In a Single Bound: One of Austin's powers. In "Another Earth, Another Sky", he circumnavigates a planet in four leaps — admittedly it's quite a small planet, but that's still impressive.
  • Open-Door Opening: Episode one begins with Emily standing outside her parents' lab, and getting the door open is the first puzzle. Episode two does the same with Austin and their parents' holiday cottage.
  • Playing with Fire: The firesuit in "Luminous Horizon".
  • Shock and Awe: One of Emily's powers is a directed lightning attack.
  • Teamwork Puzzle Game: "Luminous Horizon" introduces the ability to switch between characters, and most of the puzzles take advantage of it.
  • Written Sound Effect: Appear at appropriate intervals for that comic book flavour, and become more visually impressive over the course of the series as the game engine becomes more sophisticated.